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Parents Adopting Kids and Kids Adopting Parents

Every teen will face identity issues at one point or another. But for adopted teens, the struggle often escalates even higher. On this weekend’s edition of Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston offers advice for guiding an adopted teen through a time of crisis.

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Do Adopted Kids Have More Problems?

You may have heard the news story this week – an adoptive family in Tennessee put their 7-year-old Russian-born boy on an unaccompanied one-way flight back to Russia, explaining that he had terrorized their family since coming to live with them. Now, the world is in an uproar over their seemingly heartless and careless act.

This family’s decision to abandon their child is totally unacceptable, I know.  But I also know that adoptions can go haywire.  Adopted kids may or may not have any more problems than any other group of kids, but I think they often present a different “mix” of problems.  And those problems can often be more severe, with behavior escalating to the point where a child is out of control and dangerous to himself and others around him or her.

There’s no question that typical adolescent issues like belonging, fitting-in, rejection, connection, acceptance, and peer-relationships can become particularly prominent for some adopted kids.  But there are other factors that can cause just as many problems for the child and the adoptive parents. Continue reading “Do Adopted Kids Have More Problems?”


The Answers Adopted Teens Seek

adoptionWhen an adopted child enters the adolescent years and their thinking transfers from concrete to abstract, they might begin asking that unanswerable question, “Why did my mother give me up?” At a time that most kids are trying to “find themselves” and form a concept and understanding of who they are and who they are not, the adoption card in their deck of options is one that is a mystery and a source of confusion for most (confusion is not a problem, but how they display that confusion might present a problem). 

The hard part of all of this is that this transition of thinking happens around the 7th or 8th grade year when life is tough for any young teen. Having to deal with these pretty tough and deep issues at a time they’re having to transition into early adolescence would be a heavy overload for anyone. Thus the identity issues come to the surface. Continue reading “The Answers Adopted Teens Seek”